It is known that I am not a fan of Guy Gardner, I never have been. I’ve always thought of him as an arrogant punk and buffoon who wasn’t qualified or even worthy of calling himself a Green Lantern. I’ve avoided books that featured Guy and in time you could even go as far to say that I was anti-Guy Gardner in almost every way. The truth of the matter is that I was very disappointed that Guy even survived Blackest Night. I was hoping that Geoff Johns would finally rid us of his annoying, self-centered antics once and for all. Sadly it didn’t happen and Guy was catapulted into The New 52 along with most of the Green Lantern universe.
In an effort to diversify my comic book pallet, I decided to pick up some books that I have ignored in the past. Green Lantern Corps was one of the books that I had previously turned my nose up at simply because I didn’t want to deal with Guy. Another book that I picked up was Justice League International, on the advice of JP here at Word of the Nerd.
Another causality of The New 52 was Booster Gold, or rather his solo series. It was cancelled along with some other books that I was reading at the time. It was Booster Gold who lured me to JLI, but I was irritated that of all the Green Lanterns to choose from to be on this new team, they chose Guy Gardner. So, I ended up reading two books with Guy in them and I wasn’t thrilled with the prospect.
I read both Green Lantern Corps and Justice League International religiously every month. I found that I enjoyed both books in spite of Guy Gardner. I was getting my Booster Gold fix and staying on top of what was unfolding in the Green Lantern universe…and for those of you who haven’t been keeping abreast of the goings on in any of the GL books, there is some pretty serious stuff going down that will bleed over into a number of New 52 titles in the coming months.
As I read I found myself starting to actually tolerate Guy. In the pages of the recently cancelled Justice League International, he went from being a constant source of strife and continually criticizing Booster Gold’s leadership of the team to a valued member and fairly likeable guy. Now that the JLI is no more, it is unknown if Guy will have a place on any future Justice League teams.
In the latest issues of Green Lantern Corps, Guy has been instrumental to helping John Stewart escape Oa after being unfairly judged by the Alpha Lanterns. To me, he has increasingly shown that he is worthy of being a Green Lantern and putting the needs of others before his own. My tolerance for him started to increase. Then it began to turn into respect. I started to really look beyond my initial dislike. I started thinking and asking myself if perhaps I had misjudged Guy Gardner.
What finally won me over was last month’s zero issues. Green Lantern Corps #0 wasn’t as disappointing to me as some of the other zero issues. And although the story centered squarely on Guy, it contained part of his back story before he became a Green Lantern. It told the story of an arrogant and mostly misunderstood Guy Gardner and his shattered relationship with his family. We got to see what makes him act the way he does; but it also showed us the most important thing about him…his unswerving sense of honor.
Guy is chosen to wear the ring of a Green Lantern for a very good reason…he deserves it. He still is no where close to being the model Green Lantern I wished he would be. But what he lacks in tact and grace, he makes up for in bravery and dedication to his fellow Lanterns.
So as the Rise of the Third Army begins, it isn’t hard to determine where Guy will be. He will be right in the thick of the fight where he belongs. He still may be an arrogant jerk, but I have found you have to look past that and count his actions more than his demeanor. I am trying to come to grips with that I don’t believe Guy will survive the Guardians attempt to destroy the Green Lanterns.
There has been little mention of him post Rise of the Third Army and I am taking his exclusion from the new Justice League of America as a sign. Not only that, but the introduction of Simon Baz, the newest Arab-American lantern sort of reinforces my suspicions. Whether Guy’s exploits continue in Green Lantern Corps, or he gives his life to save the Corps remains a mystery to me. Either way, in my eyes Guy Gardner has redeemed himself. Although he still has that stupid haircut and he isn’t my favorite GL character, he is no longer my least liked.